Myanmar's Tattooed 'Chin Women'
In the Chin region of Myanmar, live the last of the 'Chin Women,' an ethnic minority of women with astonishing face tattoos.
These tattoos are made using grass, leaves, shoots and soot. It is applied or tattooed on using sharp cane thorns.
According to legend, this practice began when a Burmese King was impressed by the beauty of a young Chin woman and he kidnapped her to make her his bride. Because of this, Chin families began to tattoo their daughters faces in order to ensure they would not be kindnapped and taken away.
According to a different legend, the tattoos began as a thing of beauty and also to differentiate the different Chin tribes which are :-
• M'uun Tribe
• M'kaan Tribe
• Yin Du Tribe
• Dai Tribe
• Nga Yah Tribe and
• Uppriu Tribe
All of the 6 Chin tribes have their own unique styles of the face tattoos. Some have dots tattooed all over the face other tribes use letters, shapes and symbols.
"I got my tattoos when I was about 12 years old. It was painful and my face hurt for 5 days. I didn't think about why I did it. It is just our custom and what all girls my age did then..." Daw Ngai Pai, a 72 year old Chin woman to Dave Stamboulis bbc (2016)
This practice has been around for decades! However, the Government banned the practice in the 1960's in an effort to introduce modernisation. Because of this ban, the remaining Chin women with face tattoos are the last in the region and will soon be a story for the history books.